It's the last day of the month. Your rent payment and car payment are due tomorrow. You feel that it is impossible to get ahead. As soon as you get paid, your money immediately vanishes. These payment plans are debilitating. There are too many sleepless nights worrying about how to cover the financial obligations of life. Studies show that you're not alone.
So what can you do to get out of this financial mess? It won't be easy. Any accomplishment that is worthwhile is not easy. It doesn't happen overnight. It does, however, require intense dedication. You have to want financial freedom more than anything else, including your new car. Including your $10 lunch. Including your other wealth draining purchases. You know what they are...
You just came across some serious cash. You are now the recipient of a bonus, promotion, or some other good fortune. What should you do? You may be tempted to take a quick trip to Hawaii or upgrade your car. Maybe something smaller such as buy the new bike you have been eyeing for some time. These things are not inherently bad. They are just frivolous.
Take a breath. Smile and be grateful. Go out to dinner and celebrate your good fortune. Just don't do something stupid!
Never assume that you will magically become financially stable. Financial freedom is the result of careful and meticulous planning. Contributing 3-5% to your 401k likely won't be enough. This is especially true if you start investing late or not knowing what funds you are investing in. Figure out how much you need for retirement and plan accordingly. Why don't people spend more time planning for retirement? They spend a lifetime working but can spend 3 days becoming educated and create a plan?
Let me tell you a sad story of someone who failed to plan. This person assumed she was quietly crushing it financially. But she was wrong. Her situation is a disaster...
Dear Money, I have worked so hard to acquire you – one cent at a time. I have diligently cared for you. I treat you with utmost respect and kindness. When was the last time I opened up my wallet and handed you over for something of no value? It doesn't happen very often. You can trust me. Your previous owners have consistently abused you. Remember last night when my friends went to Starbucks and began emptying their wallets? I know you were scared but I kept you safe. I never even considered handing you over to a new owner. Don’t forget that. I will protect you from this abuse. Let’s create a lasting relationship. But it seems our relationship isn’t always mutually beneficial.
To land a job in the C-Suite or the corner office takes grit. The C-Suite houses all of the Chief Executives (CEO, CFO, COO). Climbing the corporate ladder often involves many years of late nights and weekends. The higher you climb, the more responsibilities you have. It only becomes more stressful. Why? Because you have to do your new role while managing the responsibilities of your old role at the same time.
We have been told that the pinnacle of success is reached when we land the office in the C-Suite. The view is always better from the corner office, right? I disagree. My view is way better! It's a 360 view of the world!
The preconceived notion that one must go to college, incur debt, graduate, find a job, sign up for the house and car payment plan. Oh... forgot to mention the credit card debt (was it me who bought that $19.99 item on Amazon?!?). Our society is set up in such a way that an individual assumes that high rates of spending and consumption is normal. When we sign up for more obligations that we can reasonably cover, we essentially become slaves to the system. One must work in the cubicle farm for at least 40 years. Everyone does it.
Dusting off the hiking pack and driving to the mountains is very refreshing. It is nice to have breaks from work and stress. We took a short hike around the lake and found a nice place to set set up our hammocks. Have you ever set up a hammock? It is extremely fast after you have done it a few times. The first time or two is a bit challenging. After that, it becomes natural, similar to riding a bike.
How can giving money away be a wise investment strategy? When money goes out the door, there is no benefit to the giver... right? It depends on how you look at it. Let me tell you a story. After graduating with Bachelors degree's, life was looking good. As mentioned on the "About" page, we graduated debt free and owned our primary residence free and clear. We considered ourselves very fortunate to be in such a financial situation.
The alarm clock goes off. How is it already 6:30 am?!? Another restless night dreaming about this day. The never ending nightmare of the rat-race has begun...again. Shower. Eat. Traffic. All while dreading the thought of opening the inbox. Park. Swipe the badge (hoping it doesn't work), unfortunately it works just like every other day. Muscles are tense, jaw is clenched. Turn on the office light and boot up the computer.